The Knicks have signed free agent Jonathan Bender, who has been out of the NBA since the end of 2005 due to injury problems.
For a player who has not played in four years (and played parts of seven seasons in the NBA), Bender is remarkably “only” 28 (although he turns 29 in a month).
Bender, you might recall, was the player Donnie Walsh traded Antonio Davis for before the 1999 NBA season and never really delivered on the promise of the fifth overall selection, but he has battled injury problems basically his entire NBA career.
This sounds like the sort of low risk/high upside moves that you like to see. Bender likely will not amount to much, but if he could put his skills together, he is a six foot eleven inch guy with an outside shot (career 34% 3-point shooter, but during his short “peak,” was closer to 36%).
Thanks to commenter marxster for noting Real GM’s announcement of the move, which quoted Walsh as saying:
Jonathan has worked extremely hard in preparing himself for a return to the NBA. I know him to be a young man of the highest character from my relationship with him that dates back 10 years to his rookie year and I think he will be a fine addition to our team both on and off the court.
At least it is something to talk about during these annoyingly long lay-offs between games!